Brick in Architecture Awards winners revealed

Promotion: a Toronto hotel featuring dramatic brick arches and a parking lot converted into a public square in Texas are among the winning projects at the Brick in Architecture Awards.

The Brick Industry Association (BIA) recognised a total of 44 winning projects that demonstrated excellence through designs that used fired-clay brick.

Among the winners were nine projects receiving the highest merit of “best-in-class” across the competition’s nine categories, each broken down by type.

Categories ranged from craftsmanship, thin brick, international, residential single family, commercial, residential multi-family, education (colleges and universities), education (schools up to year 12), paving and landscaping, and historic renovation.

The organisers said: “These awards celebrate outstanding achievements in the realm of design by honouring projects that exemplify innovation, uniqueness, and aesthetic excellence through the prominent use of clay brick as their primary building material.”

Brick exterior of Ace Hotel in TorontoBrick exterior of Ace Hotel in Toronto
The Ace Hotel Toronto was designed by Shim-Sutcliffe Architects. Photo by Scott Norsworthy

The overall craftsmanship award was presented to Ace Hotel Toronto in Canada, designed by Canadian architecture studio Shim-Sutcliffe Architects. The project, which features brick produced by Endicott Clay Products Company, also claimed the best-in-class award in the commercial category.

The modern hotel facade has curvilinear arched elements, accentuated by intricate brickwork executed by Canadian construction firm Limen Group.

Another best-in-class project in Toronto, Canvas House by architecture studio Partisans, took the top prize in the residential single family category.

Undulating pattern on exterior of a houseUndulating pattern on exterior of a house
Canvas House won the residential single family category. Photo by Younes Bounhar

The exterior of Canvas House is characterised by an undulating skin of blonde brick, crafted by manufacturer Taylor Clay Products and arranged by contractor Finbarr Sheehan in a pixelated pattern.

Meanwhile, New York City project 1 Boerum Place by SLCE Architects was announced as the best-in-class winner of the residential multi-family category.

The Brooklyn housing complex features slim, sand-coloured bricks crafted by Taylor Clay Products and wrapped across rounded corners and cantilevered balconies by contractor HDK Construction.

The best-in-class award in the thin brick category was won by office building 345 North Morgan in Chicago, Illinois, which also achieved a bronze ranking in the commercial category.

Designed by architecture studio Eckenhoff Saunders, the building features lofty barrel vaults constructed with dark brick supplied by manufacturer Interstate Brick and laid by contractor Illinois Masonry Corporation.

Exterior of an office buildingExterior of an office building
345 North Morgan in Chicago, Illinois, was recognised at the awards. Photo by Kendall McCaugherty

Elsewhere in the USA, projects in Texas achieved three best-in-class awards.

The TCU Music Center at Texas Christian University in Fort Worth, designed by Bora Architecture & Interiors, won in the education (colleges and universities) category.

The project has a facade of multi-hued blonde brick that aims to evoke grains of sand when viewed from afar. Manufacturer Acme Brick supplied the material, while contractor Wilks Masonry executed the design.

The best-in-class award for the education “K-12” category (kindergarten to year 12) was presented to the John Webb Elementary School in the Texan city of Arlington.

BRW Architects worked with manufacturer Cloud Ceramics and contractor Accurate Masonry of Texas to create the bold exterior of the educational building, which includes darkly coloured brick arranged in an intricate protruded pattern.

A former parking lot turned into a green open urban spaceA former parking lot turned into a green open urban space
West End Square used to be a parking lot. Photo by William Sundquist

Formerly a parking lot, West End Square, the only public park in its Dallas neighbourhood, won the best-in-class paving and landscaping category following its conversion by New York-based landscape architecture studio Field Operations.

The park is defined by a red-brick promenade that encircles a hilly, tree-covered park. The brick was produced by manufacturer Whitacre-Greer and the herringbone pattern was achieved by contractor Paver Pro.

The 62,000 square foot Texas Christian University (TCU) music centre was another best-in-class winner. The venue was recognised for its “creative commons” outdoor gathering space, “buff brick and limestone, while its soaring central concert hall and textured crown stand out as a celebration of artistry”.

Exterior of the Texas Christian UniversityExterior of the Texas Christian University
The 62,000 square foot Texas Christian University

Moving away from Texas, community centre Foundry 101 in Cambridge, Massachusetts, was awarded best-in-class in the Historic Renovation category.

Local architecture studio Cambridgeseven worked with manufacturer The Stiles & Hart Brick Company and contractor Fernandes Masonry to sensitively convert the 103-year-old building for modern use while preserving its 19th-century brick.

A restored foundryA restored foundry
Foundry 101 received the top prize in the Historic Renovation category. Photo by Anton Grassl

Another project featuring classic red brick, the TIC Art Center in Guangzhou, China, was the best-in-class winner of the international category.

The civic structure has a solid base featuring long bricks in varying shades of red produced by manufacturer LOPO China. Crowning the base is a large atrium clad in a transparent skin of triangular breezeblocks.

The BIA says it is committed to showcasing the enduring quality and beauty of brick across architecture of all kinds.

“Brick is a versatile material that offers limitless design possibilities with inherent sustainability, unmatched durability, fire resistance and notable energy efficiency,” said BIA President Ray Leonhard.

To view the winning projects, visit the BIA’s website.

Partnership content

This article was written by Dezeen for BIA as part of a partnership. Find out more about Dezeen partnership content here.

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